Kyari in the Eye of the Storm

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Abba Kyari

Imagine a leader having an individual with the attributes of a tiger’s strength and the peerless vision of an eagle as an advisor. Tigers are the largest amongst other wild cats; extremely fast and powerful. The eagle sees the whole picture from miles away, picking out granular details with clinical precision. What wouldn’t any leader give to have the ‘Eagle-Tiger’ Mallam Abba Kyari in their corner?

It was not going to take much for the agitations to gain momentum when the rules of the game changed. Historically, people complain when the norm is disrupted. They loathe gatekeepers who checkmate ploys designed to hoodwink their principals. They sponsor smear campaigns that are prosecuted under the guise of “protecting our democracy”. They deride the much sterner stuff of intellect that makes the office of the chief of staff impenetrable to briefcase politicking. They cherish unfettered access that will enable them influence key decisions. Fortunately, this Aso Rock will not pander to the desires of such people. Not under the watch of Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff.

Since he elevated the office to one where the focus is on strategy over business-as-usal ceremony’, Kyari has been the object of unending vilification. Should he look the other way and gloss over important matters of the State in a bid to shore up his public image? The tiger in him will not give in to renegade attacks nor will his eagle vision fail to point out issues he believes the President needs to note in the best interest of the nation.

This article does not seek to canonise Abba Kyari. One does not need to be a saint to make the decision to serve one’s principal without fear or fervour. The point is, can we take another look at the antecedents of the people casting aspersions on his person? Are they not constituents of the fair weather friends of the nation? The ‘chief of staff is too powerful’ narrative is a spent tactic. Nigeria would fare well with a chief of staff that is cerebral, one that can actually shield, support, guide, engage and make the president’s job more effective. One that is powerful enough not to budge on principle and due process.

Yes, Abba Kyari is not a saint. Would he have instances where he is wrong on certain issuess? Most certainly. But one thing is sure, Nigeria will fare much better with Abba Kyari not being a rubber stamp chief of staff.

Kingsley Chinedu, Port Harcourt